Big chunk of users seen switching to Reliance Jio
In the April-June quarter, Vodafone Idea had reported a 4.3% sequential fall in revenue, which dipped below Jio's for the first time.
Vodafone Idea, they said, has been particularly hit by the phenomenon, given that its active subscriber losses over the past six months at 68 million is more than three times higher than Bharti Airtel’s (20 million).
During the same period, the Mukesh Ambani-led telco's active subscriber base has expanded by 44 million. Active customers are the actual number of subscribers actively using mobile services on a phone network.
Latest Trai data shows monthly MNP requests have remained low at 4.3 million in June, even after over six months since both Vodafone Idea and Bharti Airtel had introduced minimum recharge plans that primarily triggered the active subscriber losses.
Brokerage CLSA said the lack of increase in mobile number portability (MNP) requests along with the decline in incumbents' active subscriber base "implies a portion of the customers who were using incumbents' network for voice, have given up their older mobile numbers and switched over to Jio". Vodafone Idea, it said, had borne the brunt of the phenomenon, reflected in its "weaker revenue trajectory versus Bharti Airtel".
In the April-June quarter, Vodafone Idea had reported a 4.3% sequential fall in revenue, which dipped below Jio's for the first time. Bharti Airtel, by contrast, reported a 2.2% sequential and and 4.4% on-year rise in quarterly revenue from local mobile services, signalling a recovery in its India mobile services business.
Edelweiss backed the view, saying Vodafone Idea's active user base slide has also partly been triggered by loss of "smartphone users upgrading from 2G to 4G services," adding that it is crucial for the beleaguered telco to "improve sales execution and network quality to arrest the user base decline".
Over the past year, Jio's active user market share has gained 10 percentage points (ppts) to 28%, while Vodafone Idea and Airtel have lost 8 ppts and 2 ppts respectively, taking their shares to 33% and 32%, CLSA said, analysing the latest subscriber data collated by the telecom regulator.